Yoho National Park Whitewater Rafting

Anyone looking for white-water-rafting action will want to run the Kicking Horse River in Yoho National Park. The rafting season runs mid-May to mid-September, with river levels at their highest in late June. The Lower Canyon, immediately upstream of Golden, offers the biggest thrills, including a three-kilometer (1.9-mile) stretch of continuous rapids. Upstream of here the river is tamer but still makes for an exciting trip, while even farther upstream, near the western boundary of Yoho National Park, it’s more of a float–a good adventure for the more timid visitor. The river is run by several companies, most of which offer the option of half-day ($60 to $80) or full-day ($100 to $150) trips. The cost varies with inclusions such as transportation from Banff and lunch.

Alpine Rafting (250/344-6778 or 888/599-5299, www.alpinerafting.com) offers trips ranging from a family-friendly float to the excitement of descending the Lower Canyon. They operate from a signposted base 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) east of Golden, where there is also primitive camping. Other local companies include Wet ’n’ Wild Adventures (250/344-6546 or 800/668-9119, www.wetnwild.bc.ca) and Glacier Raft Company (250/344-6521, www.glacierraft.com). From Lake Louise, Wild Water Adventures (403/522-2211 or 888/647-6444, www.wildwater.com) leads half-day trips down the river for $93, including a narrated bus trip to their purpose-built RiverBase put-in point 27 kilometers (17 miles) east of Golden. Departures are from Lake Louise at 8:15 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The full-day trip ($139) is broken up by a riverside lunch. Canadian Rockies Rafting (403/678-6535 or 877/226-7625, www.rafting.ca) operates on the river from Banff, while Hydra River Guides (403/762-4554 or 800/644-8888, www.raftbanff.com) is a Banff-based company that also runs the river.